United Way pitch made to county employees

— Essex County is making a final push to help the United Way of the Adirondack Region.

Social Services Director John O’Neill and Chesterfield Supervisor Gerald Morrow made an appeal to county supervisors and employees to give to the annual United Way campaign.

“Government is one small part of the community safety net,” O’Neill said. “Over 20 of the 30 United Way member agencies serve Essex County.”

O’Neill said that the county’s participation in the United Way program has gone from over 100 two years ago to just 25 in 2013, but said more could be signing up.

“Every time that you remind people, you shake the branches and more people sign up,” he said. “We have roughly 600 employees and I am hopeful that we can make it to 100 enrolled, but it is going to take some shaking of the branches.”

“If it was not for John, we would not even have 25 signed up,” Morrow said. “I was the campaign chairman last year and I thought it was going to be tough to meet our goal. This year has proven to be even tougher.”

Morrow said he was going to send correspondence to everyone in the county as well as supervisors and urged them to circulate it through their employees.

“Even a one-time donation would be great,” Morrow said. “If 600 employees gave $5 just once, that would go a long way.”

2013 campaign chair Gayle Alexander, of Elizabethtown, said that while many have donated to United Way relief funds in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and other events, “giving begins at home.”

“We are in the last three weeks of the campaign and this year we really need everyone to step up and give,” Alexander said.

To find out more, visit unitedwayadk.org.

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